Winter storms have already wreaked death and destruction for residents of northern Virginia and Maryland even before motorists headed out for the holiday weekend.

CNN reported that ice-covered roads were to blame for three deaths in the two states on Dec. 17.

Storm conditions left dozens of other drivers and passengers stranded on stretches of Interstate 95 near the Baltimore area where one major vehicle pile-up was estimated to involve 55 cars.

The wintry weather caused deadly conditions around 5 a.m., sending 11 to area hospitals. A tweet from Baltimore County’s official Twitter account indicated that as many as 20 vehicles collided near Rosedale on the I-695, with six requiring hospitalization.

The same winter weather advisory from the National Weather Service warning of freezing rain and sleet in the Baltimore metro area caused slick roads in northern Virginia.

According to the Virginia State Police, 41 weather-related collisions occurred during the same time period. One death was reported in Fairfax County on Interstate 495, CNN reported.

It’s certainly a tragedy for some families to endure the holidays without the loving presence of a family member among their midst after an untimely death on a winter highway.

If you find yourself in this untenable position, there is no amount of compensation that could ever replace the value of your loved one’s presence in your life.

However, choosing to pursue a claim against those with liability for your family member’s loss of life can ease some financial burdens and bring some measure of civil justice whether or not anyone ever faces criminal charges in the highway death.

Source: WRIC, “3 dead in Virginia and Maryland in crashes resulting from ice,” Dec. 17, 2016